Friday, 03 April 2015 08:32

Our Side of the Mic … (28-7-2013)

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Our Side of the Mic

by Bob Riggs

Wasn’t the summer terrific! Many of us traveled to Loveland for a great State Festival, thanks to the 2013 committee. Then 165 dancers from Colorado traveled to Oklahoma City, OK for the 62nd National Square Dance convention. Now many of us are enjoying the variety of summer dances.

So it’s now September. The next round of classes will be starting in the next few weeks. Please support your clubs, the callers teaching classes and most of all enjoy all of the new dancers that are joining our activity. When you attend a class as an angel please follow the instructions provided by the instructor of the class. They will likely be similar to the following:

Square Dance Angels

(based on http://www.farmersandcharmers.com/etiquette.html#ANGELS”)

"They are the wonderful people who, Introduce Square Dancing to others, Bring others to Square Dance Classes, Aid the Caller/Teacher by filling the squares so that all class members may dance".

When you become a class angel, there are some simple rules to remember:

BE ON TIME - You may be the cause of three other couples sitting out during a teaching tip.

BE OBSERVANT - Make sure that every student is in a square during the teaching tip. BUT don't wait for them to square up - Invite them to your square.

LET THE CALLER RUN THE CLASS - Don't take it upon yourself to start splitting couples. When it is time to break up a group or separate a couple, the caller will indicate this by his or her teaching methods.

DO NOT TALK IN THE SQUARE when the caller is giving instructions. Learning to listen to the caller's commands requires concentration. No person can listen to two persons at a time. All should be listening to the same caller.

DANCING STYLES - Some dancing styles that dancers have adopted are out of place in class. Basics should be kept in pure form. The proper Do Sa Do, hand and arm holds, a quick touch to acknowledge position, and no short cuts will ensure new dancers of the proper position for the next call.

ANGELS ARE HELPERS, NOT PUSHERS - Students must learn to react to each command. To gently guide someone is fine, but we accomplish nothing for the student if he or she has been pushed through an action and doesn't know what was supposed to be done. Angels' action should be firm but gentle.

LET THE CALLER KNOW if a dancer has not grasped the concept of a call after a reasonable time. The caller can review the call during the next tip. It is not a good idea to "teach" a call during a break. The student needs the time to relax and clear the mind. What if you teach it wrong?

DRESS FOR STUDENTS - Do not encourage students to "go right out" and buy square dance clothing. As you know, women's clothing can be expensive. Their first dance will be soon enough.

DO NOT TAKE DANCERS TO DANCES THAT ARE ABOVE THEIR DANCING EXPERIENCE - You will be surprised how many times club members tell students "Come on, we will pull you through." This will discourage many new dancers. Your caller will let them know when there is a dance at their experience level. Now is your chance to join them where both of you can have fun together.

FRIGHTENED - Square dancing is a frightening experience. Keep that in mind at all times with new students even after they "graduate". Every time a mistake is made, they think they caused it. Don’t tell them of your difficult or bad experiences when you started to attend club dances.

DANCE WITH THEM - Do you want to keep the new students in your club? Then you must dance with them, talk with them during breaks and encourage them. One of the biggest complaints heard from new dancers is that they are not sure the old club members want them.

Last modified on Friday, 03 April 2015 08:33
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